7 unique things highly successful people often do after 5pm

Being successful isn’t just about what you do while you’re at work, what you do after 5 pm matters too. 

Highly successful people focus on a few simple things in the evening and do them consistently. Over time, this nighttime routine becomes part of their formula for success.

So what do they do? Get comfortable, I’m about to share 7 unique things that highly successful people do after 5 pm.

Ready? Let’s get started.

1) They write down their thoughts

Do you ever write down your thoughts?

It’s a great way to reflect on your day and cleanse your mind. It’s like putting your thoughts down on the page frees your mind. You don’t have to think about them anymore. It’s something many highly successful people do when their working day is done.

As outlined by Forbes, the simple act of jotting down some thoughts each day allows you to:

  • Harness clarity and focus
  • Strengthen self-reflection 
  • Cultivate emotional intelligence
  • Business tycoon, Richard Branson is known for carrying a notebook everywhere to write down notes, feedback, thoughts, and ideas. Of his writing habit he’s even said,
  • “It has been the most important thing that I’ve done–almost without exception–to keep myself organized on building a business and focusing on the customer.”

Hollywood actor, Matthew McConaughey is a big fan of journaling and even encourages men specifically to try journaling after he got pushback on it from his male audience. 

It’s a simple but powerful habit of highly successful people.

2) They unplug

Do you ever completely unplug from the digital world? 

According to one study, 65% of people only spend 3 consecutive hours or fewer, unplugged each day. 

Disconnecting from technology is becoming more and more difficult but it’s really important. Various studies have found unplugging has positive effects on mental well-being.

In one study, participants stopped using social media for a week and they were found to have better mental well-being, feel more socially connected, and have fewer worries about missing out. And that’s just unplugging from one aspect of digital life for just one week.

Although highly successful people are constantly connected to their phones or laptops during the day, they know the importance of unplugging and make a conscious effort to disconnect for a little while every day after 5 pm.

Although brief, this downtime allows them to recharge and relax so that they’re ready to face the world again when they reconnect. Unplugging is a must for highly successful people.

3) They spend time in nature 

So much of the working day is spent in office buildings and board rooms, it can make life pretty dull, right?

To fight against this many successful people find ways to connect with nature after 5 pm. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant, it might be a simple walk in the park or even just sitting in the garden, but it matters a lot. 

Believe it or not: spending time in nature can increase things like creative thinking, focus, and problem-solving. These are all key things for highly successful people.

A recent study found that after four days immersed in nature on a hike, a group of adults experienced a 50% increase in creative thinking and problem-solving. 

Highly successful people know the importance of spending time in nature and make the effort to spend a few minutes each day outside with Mother Nature. 

4) They prioritize quality time with loved ones 

This one’s a biggie. Highly successful people, make time for their nearest and dearest. 

It’s true, they’re super busy but they know the importance of strengthening relationships and work-life balance and they work on it every single day. 

Lots of well-known entrepreneurs prioritize family, take Facebook CEO Marc Zuckerberg as an example. He’s a family man, who prioritizes being home to put his kids to bed. He even referenced his bedtime routine with his children in his Harvard commencement speech in 2017.

But I’ve also seen this in highly successful people in my own life. 

In a past job, we had a lot of client-entertaining in the evenings. Our CEO, Jim, always made a point to go home to have dinner with his family and rejoin us later in the evening. He’s the perfect example of someone who prioritized quality time and still managed to entertain clients. 

Successful people like Mark and Jim know how important quality time is and they find a way to prioritize it over everything else, even if just for a few minutes each day. 

pic2132 7 unique things highly successful people often do after 5pm

5) They prepare for the next day 

How many decisions do you think the average person makes in a day? It’s estimated to be about 35,000 decisions per day. Wow!

And here’s the kicker: constantly making decisions is draining and leads to decision fatigue.

Preparing for the next day as part of their evening routine allows highly successful people to avoid wasting unnecessary effort on trivial decision-making first thing in the morning. They can save that energy for more important decisions throughout the day. 

They might do simple things like laying out their clothes, reviewing their schedule, and packing their bag with the things they’ll need for the day ahead. 

Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg, (and before his death, Steve Jobs) take it one step further, instead of laying out their clothes each day, they wear almost the same thing every day. This way they don’t need to waste any energy on deciding what to wear.

Preparing for the day ahead is very simple but it’s quite powerful because it allows them to be completely focused on the important stuff with as much mental energy as possible reserved for big business decisions. 

Start preparing for the day ahead, the evening before, and elevate to the next level. 

6) They take a moment to appreciate what they’ve got 

Do you ever stop and appreciate what you’ve got, I mean really appreciate the simple blessings in life? 

The power of gratitude is well documented, even though most of us know that it helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and even depression, we still don’t take a minute to express gratitude. 

This is yet another unique thing that highly successful people do before they go to sleep every night. They take a moment to reflect on the good things in life and they appreciate them. 

Some people write them down, some people express it out loud and others just think about it but almost all successful people express gratitude daily. 

Oprah, a big advocate for gratitude said it best, “Be thankful for what you have and you’ll end up having more.”

7) They prioritize sleep

How important is it for you to get 8 hours of sleep per night? 

Most of us hope to get a good night’s sleep but highly successful people obsess over getting the right amount of rest. 

The more we learn about sleep, the more we realize it’s absolutely vital. The benefits of proper sleep include:

  • Better focus
  • Enhanced memory and learning
  • Improved stress management

Sleep is a non-negotiable for highly successful people. They’ve got their evening routine down to make sure they get 8 hours of sleep every night. 

The bottom line

Highly successful people are intentional about everything, including their habits after 5 pm. 

But take note: none of the unique things that highly successful people do are out of reach for the rest of us. 

Your daily habits can change your life, all it takes is some self-discipline and a lot of consistency. 

Cat Harper

Cat Harper

Cat is an experienced Sales and Enablement professional turned writer whose passions span from psychology and relationships to continuous self-improvement, lifelong learning and pushing back on societal expectations to forge a life she loves. An avid traveler and adventure sports enthusiast, in her downtime you'll find Cat snowboarding, motorcycling or working on her latest self-development project.

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